The Liar's Heart
By: Haiku and Ren (Real Cute)
Warnings: Explicit Sex, Homosexual Relationships, Domestic Abuse, Rape
Fandom: Axis Powers Hetalia
Characters: England, America
Pairing(s): OC/England, America/England
Summary: England is finally in a relationship – with a human. Things aren't as great as they appear to be, however, and America thinks there just might be something wrong with this Oliver Walker that England is so enamored with.
Author's Note: Written for the kink meme on LJ. As with all of Real Cute's work, this is a collaboration between Kitten (Haiku Kitten) and Ren (tangiblereality).
The Liar's Heart
I'm just a little bit caught in the middle
Life is a maze and love is a riddle
I don't know where to go, can't do it alone
I've tried, and I don't know why
-The Show, Lenka
Oliver Walker liked to think that he was a relatively normal twenty-seven year old man. He'd grown up in Denver, Colorado in the United States, and then moved to London, England when he was twenty one years old. As a result of this, his accent was interesting – a mixture of an American accent and a British one. He was an English major and was trying to get his degree in teaching; a passion he'd discovered recently.
While he was in school, he worked at a small cafe in order to pay off his financial aid. He wasn't well off, but he had a bit of money to spend on himself. He was a simple man with simple tastes, and he was quite content to live out the rest of his life teaching at a small school and occasionally playing his flute.
"The bloody hell are you still doing here, Oliver?" The assistant manager, Stacie, inquired. She blew her cigarette smoke out of his direction, moving her curly red hair out of her eyes.
Oliver smiled, very slightly. "I'm waiting for someone." He'd already removed his customary apron – after all, his shift just ended.
Stacie raised her eyebrows. "A girl?"
He smiled in response, giving a light shrug of his shoulders.
The red-haired woman sighed heavily, throwing her cigarette onto the ground and stomping it out. "Blimey, I don't know what to think of you sometimes. But anyway, I need to get back to work. See you tomorrow, Oliver." The bell on the door rang cheerfully as it was opened, and Stacie disappeared inside of it.
Never involve yourself with humans. That had always been Arthur Kirkland's motto and he'd been around a long time. Even as a tiny nation, he'd been a wild thing, resisting all mortal attempts to tame him. Now that he'd grown and mellowed with age, he had stuck with that motto. Humans were dangerous. He'd seen them break nations. He'd seen the destruction they could cause.
Then again, Arthur was older now. The time when a nation could be wild and free had come and gone and Arthur had matured into a sophisticated, restrained creature. His country dealt with many important things - he was important in the world, he liked to think. He was no longer a great empire - ah, those had been the days - but he had a place and responsibilities. Eventually, everyone had to grow up.
The air was cold and brisk and Arthur drew his coat a little tighter around himself. The skies were so dreary today but it wasn't so unusual. Arthur was used to gray skies, both literal and metaphorical.
"Don't be such a downer," he scolded himself as he walked a little faster. Things were good these days, after all, even though they weren't quite what he'd wanted them to be once upon a time. That time had come and gone and Arthur had moved on.
He reached his destination - the small shop that he person he was meeting worked at. For several weeks now, this had been a habit of his, despite his better judgment. He knew better than to involve himself in the affairs of mortals.
Even knowing that, he hurried to the man standing there waiting for him and smiled, his cheeks red from the cold.
"Good day, Oliver."
Oliver straightened his scarf, smiling at the sight of the man he'd been waiting for. "Just the man I have been waiting for. Hello, Arthur. Let's go inside, it's chilly out here."
In Arthur's mind, Oliver Walker was perfect. He was American but he'd moved to London and insisted that he liked it here much better. His major was in English and he was very intelligent. Arthur could enjoy deep conversations with him about politics and language and music. Oliver was very talented at the flute.
Most of all, though, Oliver always seemed eager to spend time with Arthur. It had been a long time since Arthur had really looked forward to meeting up with someone. Aside from the fact that Oliver was smart and good looking and charming, there was something about him that Arthur craved.
"It's not so bad," he replied with a small laugh even though it really was very chilly out and Arthur could think of no better plan than to go to Oliver's place and curl up on the couch under a warm blanket. "It's better now I'm with you."
He couldn't help it - he adored Oliver. The man made him feel happy and comfortable. He reached out a hand with sheepish smile. "Are we going to your place?"
Despite the fact Oliver had grown up in America, he knew quite about England's country. It was rich and interesting – he'd been studying it privately ever since he was thirteen years old. It was no surprise that he fit into the country so well. Without listening closely to his accent, one could never guess that he was born in America.
Never before had he met anyone with the knowledge of England that Arthur had. If he didn't know any better, the man was a history major. Whatever questions he had, Arthur had the answer. It was his intelligence that attracted him to Arthur first, and the rest had just fallen into place naturally.
Smiling slightly, the blond-haired man grabbed hold of Arthur's hand, lightly rubbing the other's chilly fingers. "Shouldn't you be wearing gloves?" He teased, but he didn't mind. He could always warm him up, after all. "If you don't mind. By the way, how was your meeting?" Truthfully, he was more than a little bit curious what it was about. He made many guesses – was Arthur a government official of some sort? But the other refused to tell him and it irked him just a bit.
"It was fine," Arthur replied absently, grasping Oliver's hand tightly. He hadn't told Oliver, of course, that he wasn't just an average human with an average, boring job. After all, it wasn't like Oliver would believe him if he told the man that he was England.
He sighed in contentment. The meeting actually hadn't been that bad this time. Maybe it was because Arthur was happy right now but Francis and Alfred hadn't been nearly as annoying as usual. Kiku had even commented that Arthur was looking very healthy lately - which was a bit of an odd compliment but Kiku was a bit odd himself.
"In a good mood today?" Oliver had quickly learned that Arthur had a bit of a temper about him, and it was rare that he smiled like this; which was a shame, because the man was much more attractive when his eyebrows weren't furrowed together. It was surprising that he did not have wrinkles yet!
"I've had a good day," Arthur replied, squeezing his boyfriend's hand. "Even better now. Is it so weird that I'm happy to see you?" Arthur didn't think it was that weird, though he supposed that his associates would be a little disturbed if they saw him this happy. Well, just because he usually wasn't happy but that didn't mean he couldn't be happy.
Oliver smiled. Arthur really was adorable at times, but he knew the other would get flustered if he ever told him that. "Not at all," He replied. "I'm happy to see you, too." Not seeming to care that they were in public, he leaned in and kissed him on the lips for a few moments, then pulled away.
"I thought I'd order us something to eat and have it brought to your apartment," Arthur continued cheerfully. "I won't make you suffer through my cooking again after how sick it made you last time." If this had been Alfred, Arthur would have cooked anyway. Arthur loved to cook, even if he was terrible at it.
Oliver forced his smile to stay in place but his face had paled at the very mention of Arthur's cooking. He'd been polite enough to try it, even though the smell had turned his stomach. He'd regretted it immediately, spending the rest of the day huddled by the toilet. "Have you ever...eaten your cooking?" He asked, with slightly widened eyes. Perhaps Arthur just enjoyed cooking for others? "Maybe when we warm up a little, I can give you some cooking lessons...?"
That food could be used as a nuclear weapon, after all.
Arthur laughed and shrugged his shoulders. "I eat it all the time," he replied brightly. "Francis says I haven't any taste buds but Francis is a smug bastard. Don't worry, it is Chinese take-out tonight. Shall we head back, then? It really is chilly out here."
The other laughed, nervously. "I don't think it's the fact that you don't have taste buds – I think you have a stomach of steel." Maybe it was a bit cruel to poke fun at his boyfriend for not being able to cook, but it was entertaining. He nodded at the question. "Let's go."
Oliver only lived five minutes from his work – he usually walked to work every day. He owned a house, and he was about to finish paying it off by this time next year. Now, all he had to do was start paying off his student loans and he would be set.
After dinner, the two were curled up on the couch and a romantic comedy was on the television. They were snuggled underneath a warm quilt and Oliver had his arms around Arthur. "This movie...leaves much to be desired." It wasn't very good, in other words.
"It's American," Arthur mumbled sleepily. He was curled snugly against his boyfriend and he was so very comfortable and content that he was nearly asleep. He had another meeting tomorrow, a small one concerning only Alfred and himself, and he was savoring the opportunity to rest before having to discuss political matters with America, of all people.
He yawned deeply and let his eyes drift closed. "What did you expect?" he asked with a slight chuckle. "I told you this one was no good." He'd only agreed to it because he wanted to snuggle on the couch.
Oliver gently ran a hand through the other's hair. He smiled, noticing the other was starting to drift off. "American movies aren't all bad," He pointed out. "Just the vast majority." Yet another reason he usually stuck with British movies – the humor was far more tolerable. He couldn't stand slapstick.
Reluctantly, Arthur started to pull away. "I should probably head home for the night - important meeting tomorrow."
The other man frowned. "Didn't you have a meeting yesterday? Wait, Arthur." It bothered him that Arthur kept so many secrets from him. He wouldn't even tell him where he worked! He mentioned colleagues but he became flustered every time he asked about them.
Trying to ignore these issues, he wrapped his arms around him and tilted his head, pressing his lips against Arthur's in a passionate kiss.
Arthur froze at the objection, just long enough to be caught up by Oliver. His eyes widened as the other man kissed him. Well, that certainly woke him up. Oliver didn't usually kiss him so passionately. Hesitantly, Arthur returned the kiss for a moment.
He started to pull away again, an apologetic smile on his face. "I'm sorry, Oliver, I really have to go," he explained sheepishly. "Tomorrow's going to be a long day. I'll come back by tomorrow night, alright? I can't stay away from you for long."
The words from his own mouth reminded him of another he'd spoken them to. In his mind's eye, just for a moment, he saw America's little face staring up at him in disappointment.
"Why do you have to go, Engwand? Can't you stay with me?"
"I'll be back soon, alright? You know I can't stay away from you for long."
Oliver rarely spent a lot of time with Arthur – the smaller man always had some form of meeting, or his cell phone rang and he had to leave unexpectedly. Oliver had been trying to hint to the man that he wanted a more intimate relationship with him for a couple weeks now, but it always flew right over Arthur's head.
"Why do you keep everything about you a secret?" Oliver kept his arms wrapped around the other, staring at him in confusion. "It's been bothering me lately." He wasn't trying to stall – it genuinely bothered him. Well, maybe he was stalling a little. "What are you hiding?"
The Briton's face scrunched up unhappily and he jerked away. It was true that he usually had no complaints with Oliver but he was still himself - he had a quick temper. "I'm not hiding anything," he snapped moodily as he moved to gather up his things. "I've told you that my work is not something I'm permitted to discuss - I always tell you when I'm going to be called away!"
The truth was he didn't like hiding things from Oliver. But even worse, he didn't like when Oliver was pushy. It made him feel both guilty and defensive. "It's not your business," he muttered as he pulled on his coat. "Look, I'll call you after my meeting. That's acceptable, isn't it?"
Oliver could not help feeling anxious. He had issues, to be sure, and did not like it when someone was hiding something from him. Especially his boyfriend. Even if it was a government job of some sort, they usually let family members and close friends have some information on the matter.
What if it wasn't a meeting at all? What proof did he have, especially when Arthur was already hiding things from him? He didn't want the other to leave while he was feeling anxious, but Arthur was starting to irritate him a bit. Suddenly, he felt as though he were being treated as a child.
"It is my business," He murmured. "Why don't you just spend the night and I'll drop you off in the morning?"
"Oh, that's ridiculous," Arthur scoffed as he adjusted his coat and buttoned it up. "Obviously I would have to wear the same clothes I have on now and I've been in them all day. They're sweaty! Not to mention that Alfred would make dreadful fun of me."
Alfred never noticed anything important but if there was something he could potentially mock Arthur for, he always caught it. Arthur definitely wasn't going to risk it and he didn't want to wear the same clothes again anyway, it was gross.
"Where would I sleep, anyway?" he added rather obliviously. "The couch? Come now, I'll see you tomorrow." He tried to smile to lighten the mood but it came out rather strained.
"You aren't much shorter than me, Arthur, you can borrow some of my clothes," Oliver reminded him, his eyebrows arching. Was that really the only reason he did not want to stay? "You can use my shower and borrow a pair of my pajamas. I will even give up my bed." He did not want him to leave in the middle of a fight.
He stood from the couch, staring at him in confusion. Arthur frequently spoke about Alfred, and it seemed as though he saw him frequently; far more frequently than Oliver saw him, to be sure. "Who is Alfred?"
"Oh! Oh, um, just some bloke I work with," Arthur replied a little too quickly. He often felt like he was saying too much when he spoke of his "coworkers" and Alfred wasn't exactly just "some bloke" he worked with. But of course there was no way that he could tell Oliver that he'd raised Alfred.
He started to make his way to the door, a little uncomfortable with the question. Often, questions about his work or his past would prompt him to hurry off, just to avoid answering them. "He's very annoying," he added as he started to pull on his gloves, "but he'll give me hell if I'm late for our appointment. You know how it is."
Oliver's eyes narrowed suspiciously. Arthur sounded nervous. He was definitely hiding something about this Alfred bloke, and he didn't like it. He understood secrets about his career, but why about the people he worked with? There was nothing wrong with being honest about that, was there?
"Arthur, I'm getting tired of you hiding everything from me!" Uncharacteristically, he raised his voice. "How am I supposed to react when you are so secretive you won't even spend the night, for fear of me seeing where you work?! How is that fair when I have been completely honest with you?! I understand secrecy, but this is ridiculous!"
The usually calm man moved over to Arthur, grabbing him by the shoulders and pinning him against the wall. "Do you even realize how much you talk about Alfred? I can tell you aren't being honest with me. Who is he, really? Or are you just cheating on me?"
"O-Oi!" Arthur sputtered indignantly as he was shoved against the wall, shocked by the taller man's unusual outburst. He'd never seen Oliver get mad like this before. "Let go," he seethed, glaring at his boyfriend. Oliver had no right to lay hands on him like this!
Oliver didn't care – Arthur was his boyfriend and he had the right to treat him like this if he felt justified to do so. "I'm tired of you hiding things from me, Arthur." His eyes narrowed dangerously at the man, and his hands reached to unbutton his boyfriend's coat.
Arthur really didn't understand why Oliver was suddenly freaking out. "You're being ridiculous. Of course I'm not cheating on you! With Alfred, of all people, you have got to be out of your mind! What's wrong with wanting to go home and rest up before work?!"
"Maybe I would know how ridiculous it is if you wouldn't keep so many secrets!" Oliver pushed Arthur's coat open and reached down, fingers fumbling with the button on the Briton's pants. "How can I believe you?"
"What are you doing?!" Arthur's eyes were wide in panic. This wasn't the Oliver that he knew and loved. Oliver was always so patient and kind and he never complained about anything that Arthur did. Arthur had craved someone who could love him unconditionally. But this wasn't the man he loved. He grabbed Oliver's hands, trying to stop him. "Bloody hell! Oliver, what has gotten into you?!"
Oliver paused, hands still resting on the other's buttons and leaned in and kissed him; hard, pressure enough to bruise.
The other man's lips descended onto Arthur's own, harsh and bruising in their intensity and Arthur's head swam. He had to get away.
Oliver could not help the anxiety – he hated secrets, and he hated it when he was given just enough to doubt and then not given any more information. It just made him all the more paranoid and he couldn't help himself.
"I'm tired of your secrets," He murmured, against his lips. Easily, he finished unbuttoning Arthur's pants and pulled them down over his hips. "And I'm tired of you always making excuses. Maybe if I teach you a lesson, you'll be more open with me."
"Oliver, stop it, what are you...!" Arthur, panicked, reached up and shoved the other man with all of his might, managing to duck away from the wall. Shaking, he quickly righted his jeans and ran a hand through his hair.
"Don't... don't do things like that," he whispered harshly. "Teach... teach me a lesson? Why would you say something like that? That wasn't funny, alright. You... You know I'm not ready to take that step. Don't joke around like that!"
He didn't want to believe that Oliver really meant him any harm but he was severely shaken. He headed for the door and grabbed the doorknob, starting to turn it. "I'll see you tomorrow."
It was no surprise that Oliver came back to himself when Arthur shoved him. Slowly, his eyes widened as he realized how uncouth he had been acting. He hadn't meant Arthur to see this side of himself and he felt horrible for it.
"...Arthur, I'm so sorry. I don't know what came over me." His shoulders slumped, and he let out a small sigh. "I understand if you don't want to spend the night with me, but I'll make it up to you. You can have my bed and I will cook breakfast in the morning. I will wake you up on time for your meeting and I will drop you off a block from the meeting place, if you want me too. Please don't leave like this. I'm so very sorry. I love you."
Arthur froze and looked back at Oliver. He was still shaking but for a moment, he only stood there, staring at his boyfriend. The situation had been frightening and he wasn't immediately ready to trust Oliver again. Then again... he knew Oliver. They had never had this sort of fight before. Maybe Arthur really was being too distant...
"...It's alright," he replied finally, letting his hand fall away from the door with a sigh. "You were angry and I wasn't explaining things properly. Just... don't do it again?" He managed a thin smile. "I love you too. You... You don't have to give up your bed. ...We can share it." He held up his hands. "Don't get me wrong, I'm not ready for that yet. It's just sleeping, alright?"
This scene was familiar to Oliver. It brought back thoughts of his childhood that he usually preferred to ignore and keep buried in the back of his mind
"I'm sorry, honey. I won't do it again, I promise. I love you."
"...Don't do it in front of Oliver, please...Even if you do it again, not in front of my baby."
Oliver ignored the memories he could feel tugging at his subconscious. It was not the right thing to think about, especially in this situation. With a small bit of hesitation, he wrapped his arms around Arthur's waist and gave him a pleasant kiss on the lips.
"I respect your decision," He replied, with a peaceful smile. It was almost as if the last few minutes didn't even happen. "I'll make bangers and mash for breakfast tomorrow." He promised. He was determined to make this right again.
Arthur was too ready to forgive and forget. He eagerly wrapped his arms around Oliver in return and savored the much gentler kiss. He took a deep breath and looked the other man in the eyes, his smile growing a little. There wasn't a trace of anger in Oliver's countenance now.
"That sounds brilliant," he replied, nodding his head. He rested his head against Oliver's shoulder. Oliver's body was warm, welcoming... Arthur let his eyes drift closed. "...Can we go to bed, then?" he asked softly. "I really do have an important meeting. With Alfred Jones - he's from America and we really hate each other but we have to work together a lot. I'm not cheating on you, Oliver, I promise. I'm sorry I have to be so secretive about my work."
Oliver smiled; his eyes warm and gentle now as he stared into the other's eyes. "I think you will find that my bed is very comfortable. And I promise that I do not snore," He joked. Actually, he wasn't sure if he snored or not. He supposed that he would find out.
His hand gently rubbed Arthur's back, feeling much more at ease then he did before. "Of course. I'm sorry for flying off the handle like that earlier. And it is fine. More than fine." He pulled away slightly, leaning in to kiss his cheek. "Let's go to bed."
Hopefully, Arthur could put that event behind him. It would never happen again.